Tree Trimmer is Struck and Killed by Falling Tree Limb

Kentucky Case Report: 13KY038
Release Date: January 9, 2015

The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


September 7, 2013, at 1:25 p.m., a 52-year-old tree trimmer and married father of four, was attempting to clear a tree that was lying on a telephone line. The tree section that was in contact with the telephone line was a “fork” which was two extensions off the main trunk of the tree. Using a Stihl HT 101 pole saw, the victim made two cuts on the right fork, a cut on the left fork, then two more cuts on the left fork but could not saw through the limb. The victim attempted to make another cut on the inside left fork, when the pole saw he was using became stuck. When the victim and a co-worker pulled on the pole saw, their hard hats fell off, and they did not put them back on. The victim used a Stihl MS 170 chain saw retrieved from the truck and sawed through the main trunk of the tree that caused the left fork section to drop and strike the victim in the face and head. The co-worker did not witness the victim being struck, but found him lying with a 9 foot section of the tree limb on him, bleeding from his nose and mouth. The co-worker called 911 and emergency crews responded to the scene. The victim was airlifted to the nearest trauma center. On Sunday, September 8, 2013, the victim succumbed to his injuries, expiring at 5:37 a.m.

Tree Trimmer is Struck and Killed by Falling Tree Limb [PDF 1.57 MB]